The information provided here is general in nature and is not intended to be legal or health advice. It is designed to assist landlords and renters in understanding this issue.
As cases of the novel coronavirus, (COVID-19) spread across the country, landlords and renters need to prepare for the impact. Here are some resources you may find helpful.
Are you struggling to effectively resolve challenging problems with renters? Check out the free services offered by Community Mediation Minnesota. Learn more
March 24, 2020 - Due to COVID-19, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order that places a moratorium on evictions, lease terminations, and Writs of Recovery for the duration of the peacetime emergency. Read this FAQ about the Executive Order
Federal legislation - The CARES Act includes a 120-day moratorium on evictions and late fees for “covered properties.” Beginning on March 27 (the effective date of the legislation) property owners and managers of covered properties are prohibited from providing eviction notices or initiating eviction actions against residents for nonpayment of rent and may not charge fees or penalties related to that nonpayment of rent. Learn more
Webinar - Rise and Learn: Landlords and COVID-19
Attorney Larry McDonough describes the legal impact of COVID-19 on Landlords. Watch it here
COVID-19 Preparedness for Apartment Firms
The National Multi Housing Council created a guide for landlords
that includes guidance on:
Read the guide here
- An incident response plan for COVID-19 exposure at apartment communities.
- A resident communication plan.
- Fitness centers in apartment communities.
- Legal liabilities and obligations.
- Late payments. Need for flexibility and understanding.
- Self quarantining residents.
- Dealing with the aftermath, and more.
Recommendation from the Minnesota Multi Housing Association to All Housing Providers
To ensure this stability, MHA calls upon every Minnesota rental housing provider to support the MHA ‘Shelter in Place’ Guidelines by adopting the following through May 31, 2020:
- Halt evictions on renters affected by COVID-19, absent extraordinary circumstances.
- Waive late fees for residents who pay rent after the rent due date because they have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related government actions.
- Offer flexible payment plans for residents who cannot pay rent by the due date.
- Cease new rent increase notifications on all residents starting April 1.
- Direct renters to available resources to assist with food, health, and financial assistance.
- Communicate with residents proactively that you are available to assist them and want to work with them to ensure they remain housed.
Other Ways Landlords Can Support Renters
Many landlords are recognizing that their renters may be experiencing financial burdens, and are easing some of their lease terms temporarily. Reach out to your renters directly if you’re willing to help them through these uncertain times.
Here are some ways we have seen landlords offer to give their renters some flexibility:
- Share these materials from the Minnesota Department of Health about preventing the spread of COVID-19 (available in multiple languages). Share other guidance from MDH too.
- If you charge late fees, consider suspending them, or extending the grace period.
- Allow renters to pay rent on a payment plan or in weekly installments.
- Offer your renters a discount on next month’s rent.
- Share local food support options.
- Connect renters to access unemployment: https://www.uimn.org/
- Share these community resources.
Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services Offices
Most of these offices are closed. People may not be able to get their registration tabs for vehicles or even renew their driver's licenses. Exercise extreme caution if towing vehicles from your lots based solely on expired registration.